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Clare Mansell

Homelife Project – September

Last Sunday was Theo’s seventh birthday party. We squeezed it in two days before the start of the school term and on one of the last glorious days of the summer. Because we arrived home from holiday the night before we kept it simple, no goodie bags, no elaborately shaped cake and only simple party games…and you know what, it was just perfect… and several of the parents stayed for the duration just to hang out in the garden and drink tea with us too.

Thanks to having a few family members on hand to assist, I even managed to grab a few photos, though not all of them I’m sharing here…particularly to save the blushes of the brave mums who volunteered to be wrapped up in loo roll!

After clearing up, we finished the day walking round the fields before bed – Oh what a summer it has been!

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Homelife Project – August 2018

Homelife Project – August 2018

by Clare Mansell

I can’t remember ever shooting two months in a row with such incredible weather. I quite thought that last month’s Homelife Project was going to be our token swimming pool moment, but no, we have been spoiled with a second month of sunshine, shorts and swimming!

Jim was away for this one, so I had to work a bit harder to squeeze myself into the photos to stop it being too child-heavy… Probably not a bad thing though!

What on earth will the weather on the first weekend of September be like? I hope it stays good because we’ll be documenting Theo’s seventh birthday party!

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DIY Titanic life jacket for fancy dress

A few weeks ago my son came home from school with a request to dress up for a Titanic themed day at school. We quickly realised we had very little that was era appropriate for him to wear and it occured to me that the easiest thing to make would be a life jacket.

I did some googling and found this example of a bouyancy aid for the ship and I used this as my inspiration.

What follows is the instructions for a very loose replica. The instructions are detailed, but the process is very quick so do not be put off! Our version was very successful, so much so that he ended up being appointed as Captain of the ship on the day.

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My recipe and method for homemade bread (without the breadmaker)

You know those projects that haunt you? Those things you have literally been meaning to get round to doing for years? Well this my friends is one of them…. It is at least 3 years since I promised a friend of mine that I’d make a video showing how I make my homemade bread and for those 3 years a series of not particularly interesting or very good reasons have held me back from doing it.

In the end it transpired that all I really needed to get past the obstacles I was putting in front of myself, was a £7.99 tablecloth… but there we go… it is done now!

Our family have been passionate breadmakers for about the last 15 years ever since my sister and brother-in-law went on a breadmaking course with Richard Bertinet. My mum makes a lot of breadsticks, whilst we mostly specialise in this loaf and pizza bases. My brother-in-law has progressed to sour dough and foccacia, his bakes are always a bit of a treat!

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samsung american fridge freezer review

It’s funny the way things pan out, nine years ago when we fitted out our kitchen with dedicated space and plumbing for an American fridge freezer we could never have predicted that it would take nearly a decade before we were able to fill the space with the appliance it was designed to fit, nor that we would have to wait equally as long to have a summer that really allowed it to come into its own!

For the last month while we have basked in glorious sunshine, our standard size fridge freezer has been bursting at the seams as we have attempted to chill all the things required for summer entertaining and in our garage our overflow freezer which we normally turn off for the hottest months, has been drafted in for extra duties, keeping bags of ice cool for drinks at barbecues.

But all that changed last week when thanks to AO.com we joined the American Fridge Freezer club and I can truly say it was worth the wait!

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